Matthews and Tim Reynolds
Live @ Luther College
label: Bama Rags / RCA
our score: 4.5 out of 5.0
1998 was a great
year to Dave Matthews, he and his band released their third album,
Before These Crowded Streets and sold out venues across
the nation. Their massive ticket sales are to be expected, as
they have been hailed by many as one of the best live bands of
all time. Now, the question to be asked was what to give the fans
next... it was too soon to release a new studio album, and they
have already released a live concert (Live @ Red Rocks).
What better thing to do than to release something totally new,
is where we get Live at Luther College. It is something
the general populous has not been able to get their hands on,
unless they bootlegged. Recorded on February 6, 1996, this is
a complete concert of just Dave and Tim on acoustic guitars. No
drums, no bass, no sax, no fiddle - just guitar.
may be wondering why you would want another live Dave album. The
answer is simple - this is like nothing Dave has ever released
before. The vocals truly shine through in a work like this. There
is no outside influence from the band in the songs' compositions
- these are the songs as they were meant to be heard. It is a
professional recording, so there is not as much fuzz or loss of
quality as is found in a bootleg. However, the biggest difference
lies in the concert date itself.
concert was from before the days when Dave reigned supreme. As
of February of '96,
Crash and Before These Crowded Streets had not yet
been released. Hence, the lack of off-key fans singing along to
their favorite tunes. Songs like "Crash Into Me" and
"Two Step" are played, and you can actually hear Dave.
Dave acoustic is
unlike anything you have ever heard before. The bare essentials
are there, giving the vocals more control than ever. "Warehouse,"
"Typical Situation," "Jimi Thing," and "Seek
Up" are some of the more impressive tracks on the album.
The haunting moans and wails of Matthews in the intro to "Warehouse"
draw the listener into his world. "Two Step" still retains
its driving force, even without the driving drum beats - which
are prominent on the album versions.
Any Dave fan will
consider this album a necessity. I think this album has the potentiality
to draw in some people who do not consider themselves fans. There
is no denying the raw talent displayed on this album. Reynolds
is a superb guitarist (one listen to "Stream" - his
solo track, will prove that). Matthews is superb as well, but
he truly shines on the vocals.
liked Live @ Luther College...
1. One Sweet World
3. Trippin Billies
4. Jimi Thing
6. Crash into Me
7. Deed Is Done
8. Lover Lay Down
9. What Would You Say
11. Cry Freedom
12. Dancing Nancies
1. Typical Situation
4. The Christmas Song
5. Seek Up
6. Say Goodbye
7. Ants Marching
8. Little Thing
11. Two Step